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Pro makes epic albatross immediately after chip-in birdie at Valspar Championship

When he arrived at the par-3 13th hole on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, Robby Shelton was three over on the day and had fallen out of contention. But just two holes later, Shelton was suddenly in red numbers for his round.

How did Shelton make such a drastic turnaround happen so quickly? It was all thanks to two epic shots, including a rare albatross.

It started at 13, where Shelton’s tee shot to the pond-protected green landed short in deep rough next to a bunker. But instead of adding a fourth bogey to his scorecard, Shelton holed out his chip for an unlikely birdie to get one shot back.

But what happened at the next hole was truly incredible, so incredible it is sometimes known as the hardest achievement in golf.

The 14th hole is a scoreable par-5, where many players choose to go for the green in two for a chance at an eagle. When his 313-yard drive found the fairway, Shelton was left with a lengthy 258 yards to the green.

Despite the distance, Shelton and his caddie knew it was a perfect length for one of his hybrids. So Shelton took a mighty thwack and sent his ball soaring toward the green. His ball landed on the front of the putting surface on a direct line for the hole. It bounced a couple times before clanging off the flagstick and dropping in for an albatross 2.

Check it out below.


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Shelton talked about the unlikely 2 after his round.

“It was a perfect hybrid. My caddie Matt, he was like, it’s just a perfect club,” Shelton explained. “We finally got to go for it for the first time all week. I hit a great shot, honestly, it was right where I wanted to hit it. Didn’t think it would go in, but it was a nice, nice 2 to help the scorecard.”

Albatrosses, or double eagles, are a rare feat, both in the recreational game and in the pro ranks. According to, the odds of a recreational golfer making one are 6 million to 1, and pros average one albatross for every 6,000 rounds.

The double eagle was Shelton’s first in a tournament, but not the first of his golfing life, as he revealed Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve had two others,” Shelton said of his career albatrosses. “One on my home course growing up, and then another one in a college event practice round. But that was the first one in a tournament.”

As for Sunday’s feat, Shelton couldn’t see whether it had gone in despite feeling like he hit a “perfect” shot. But by reading fans’ reactions, he quickly figured out what had happened.

“We had some fans we kind of had to hit over, and we watched their reaction,” Shelton said. “At first it seemed like it went over the green, and then they finally made some noise like it went in. So, it was kind of delayed, but very cool.”

Unfortunately Shelton’s run of good luck ended there. He made bogey at the next hole, and then added another at 18 to finish at one over for the round and two under for the tournament.

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